FNH-00561B View this publication in PDF form to print or download.

Order a hard copy.

Nutrition and Health

Broccoli provides vitamins A and C and calcium. It is also high in fiber. A ½-cup serving of plain broccoli has 30 calories.


Broccoli is a bouquet of tiny flower buds. Each small green stalk is called a floret and contains hundreds of buds. Pick the head with the smallest buds. The color should be dark green with a purple or blue haze. Any heads that are yellowish and on their way to blooming should be avoided.


If broccoli stalks are long enough, plunge them upright into a container of water and refrigerate. Otherwise, store in plastic bags in the refrigerator crisper. (Cut small slits in bag to increase air circulation.)


Cut the thick stalk and the florets to approximately the same size. If some florets are larger than others, cut them to match the rest. Broccoli can be boiled in a small amount of salted water or steamed over 1 to 2 inches of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on size of pieces.

The method of food preservation which yields the best result for broccoli is freezing. Blanch uniform size stalks for 3 minutes in boiling water or steam blanch for 5 minutes. Cool promptly in cold water and drain. Pack broccoli into containers, leaving no headspace. Seal and freeze.


Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

  • 2 cups fresh broccoli
  • 2 cups cauliflower
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Break the broccoli and cauliflower into small pieces and place in a large bowl. Mix sour cream, onion, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Pour over vegetables and refrigerate overnight.4 servings

Broccoli Salad


  • 4 cups chopped broccoli
  • ½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds

For the dressing combine

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup red wine or cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup sugar

Pour dressing over broccoli mixture. Stir together and refrigerate. 3 to 4 servings

Grilled Broccoli

  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into 8 large spears
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling kosher salt and black pepper

Heat grill to medium. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli and lemons with the oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Squeeze the lemons over the broccoli and drizzle with additional oil.

Beef and Broccoli

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • ½ cup water or more
  • 2 tablespoons water, divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound boneless round or chuck steak, cut into thin 3-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 small onion, cut into wedges
  • ⅓ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • hot cooked rice

In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water and garlic powder until smooth. Add beef and toss.

In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir- fry beef in 1 tablespoon oil until beef reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm.

Stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4 to 5 minutes. Return beef to pan.

Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and remaining cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Serve over rice. 3 to 4 servings

Chicken Broccoli

  • 2 cups broccoli, cooked and drained
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup onion, minced
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2⁄3 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cups cut up, cooked chicken
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Put the cooked and drained broccoli into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with cut up, cooked chicken. Mix soup, milk, cheese, minced onion and salt in small saucepan. Cook over low heat until cheese is melted. Pour over chicken mixture. Bake in oven at 350°F for 15 minutes. 4 servings

Turkey Divan

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups cooked broccoli (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 cups sliced cooked turkey
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter. Add flour and cook, stirring until mixture bubbles.

Remove from heat; gradually blend in milk and egg yolk. Add dry mustard, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and begins to boil.

Add cheddar cheese and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted.

Arrange hot broccoli and turkey in baking dish, spooning sauce between layers and on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Broil about 4 inches from heat until cheese is browned. 4 servings

Leslie Shallcross, Extension Faculty, Health, Home and Family Development. Originally prepared by Roxie Rodgers Dinstel, former Associate Director of Extension

Reviewed February 2021